The Avant Garde Project is a series of 20th-century classical-experimental-electroacoustic torrents digitized from LPs whose music has in most cases never been released on CD, and so is effectively inaccessible to the vast majority of music listeners today. This is wild stuff, so check it out if you've never heard this sort of music before. The analog rig used to extract the sound from the grooves is near state-of-the-art, producing almost none of the tracking distortion or surface noise normally associated with LPs.
Most AGP torrents are still available through the generosity of other downloaders (and if you like what you hear, please seed them yourself for as long as you can). A search for "avant garde project" on mininova.org or thepiratebay.org will turn them up, though the tpb search database may not be up to date. Ignore the seeders/leechers statistics on either site, as they often show no seeders when in fact there are some. For the time being, a new AGP torrent is being seeded around midnight each Friday night (GMT).
AGP 10 features two works by one of the giants of 20th century music: Bernd Alois Zimmermann. The first two tracks comprise his Vocal Symphony for six soloists and orchestra, excerpted from his opera Die Soldaten (The Soldiers, 1959), based on the play by Jakob Lenz. His masterwork, this opera was at first declared unplayable, and so in 1963 Zimmermann prepared the Vocal Symphony from a set of linked scenes to demonstrate in concert performance that the music could be played. Thus, this was the first form in which music from Die Soldaten was presented to the public. The torrent is filled out with Musique pour les Soupers du Roi Ubu (1968), a work consisting entirely of quotations from other compositions. This work was the culmination of a period in which Zimmermann used such quotations extensively. Apparently, he pushed this as far as it could go in this work, because he shortly thereafter moved on to a new style of composition.
Most of Zimmermann's major works are available on CD, so check them out if you like what you hear in this torrent. In fact, I'm bending my rules here, as both of these works have been released on CD, sort of. The complete opera Die Soldaten was released on CD in the early 1990s but is now out of print, and a live performance from 1989 is still available on DVD on Germany, but the historically significant Vocal Symphony has to my knowledge never been released on CD. Roi Ubu is available as part of an 8-CD set of concert recordings for over $200, but has never been available at a more reasonable price. Considering the significance of these works and the greatness of Zimmermann's music in general, I think it's worth including them in the Avant Garde Project.
01 - Vocal Symphony from Die Soldaten, side 1 [13:55]
02 - Vocal Symphony from Die Soldaten, side 2 [25:59]
03 - Musique pour les Soupers du Roi Ubu [16:42]
NOTE: To the best of my knowledge, these recordings are currently out of print. If you know otherwise, please let me know ASAP, as I do not wish to deprive any artists of their much-deserved royalties (however small).